Friday, December 7, 2012

Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)

Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)
You may or may not know that Almond Croissants are one of my absolute favorite things in the universe to eat.  I've mentioned.  You know, once or twice.  There's just something about that gooey, almond center encased in flaky pastry, covered in a smattering of thinly sliced almonds, and capped with a mad flurry of powdered sugar that drives me wild!

I feel almost the same way about Almond Coffeecake.  The long, rectangular variety that has that same irresistible line of almond paste down the center.  Not to mention the sliced almonds and powdered sugar.  The only difference is the moist, rich cake-ish casing.  It's dangerous for me to be alone with one.
Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)

So, you can probably imagine my joy when, while searching for a Christmas-style pastry to close out #ChristmasWeek, I stumbled upon a traditional Dutch pastry that was basically another version of my beloved Almond Croissant.  I'm gonna go ahead and throw this out there - this recipe is FAR too easy.  So easy that it should be illegal.  Mostly because I almost always have a box of puff pastry in the freezer... across from my stash of nuts (which includes sliced almonds).  Also, rare is the month that I can resist picking up a block of homemade almond paste from one of the Amish ladies at the market.  Plus, you can bet that there is always a bag of powdered sugar in my pantry.

Banketstaaf is my ultimate nightmare dream nightmare dream!!

Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)
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Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake snack breakfast dessert almonds puff pastry Christmas pastry Dutch winter

Ingredients (serves ~12)
  • 1 sheet (½ of a 17.3 oz. pkg.) puff pastry, thawed
  • 10 oz. almond paste
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. apricot jam
to finish:
  • confectioners' sugar
  • glace cherries and/or sliced, toasted almonds and/or whole blanched almonds
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lay the sheet of puff pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and roll lightly until you it is 15" long x 9" wide. Cut in half lengthwise.

Roll the almond paste into a log that is ~1" shorter than the pastry (lengthwise). Place on the pastry. Paint the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg. Fold in the short ends first, then brush a bit more egg on the plain squares at the corners. Fold over one long end and then sort of roll it up until you have a thin log; press at the seams. Turn the pastry log over so that the seam is at the bottom. Brush all of the exposed surface with the beaten egg.

Slide into preheated oven and bake for ~25 minutes, or until golden brown.
making Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)
Meanwhile, pop the apricot jam into the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for a minute or two, so that it melts a little. If it seems too thick for brushing, thin it with a drizzle of water.

Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Immediately brush with apricot jam and decorate with glace cherries and/or sliced almonds. Allow to cool a bit.

Dust with confectioners' sugar and cut into fat slices. Serve alongside coffee. (Or don't, your call.)

adapted from About .com
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Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log)

Welcome to day #5 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Christmas Pies and Pastries”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you.